Meet the Author: Q&A with Tracie Banister

Hey There! Today, I’d like to welcome Tracie Banister, a wonderful friend I’ve had the pleasure of getting to meet over the interwebs. And a fellow indie chick lit author who knows that sometimes there’s nothing that can beat a warm cup of tea, a peaceful atmosphere, and a really good chick lit in-hand. Actually, scratch that. She’s a fellow chick lit author who knows that there’s only one thing that can match that…and perhaps even top it! A nice beverage, a peaceful atmosphere, and writing a fabulous chick lit!

I “met” Tracie literally as I was boarding the plane from Seattle to L.A. this summer for the big U.S. vaca that my husband and I went on (I’m still dreaming about it). She’d shot me an email right as the “please put your cell phones” warning was administered asking if I’d be interested in being one of the chick lit authors featured on her June Authorpalooza over on her Blog. I followed her National Chick Lit Month Blog Tour the month prior and was eager to be a part of the next Blog tour she'd plan. (Chick lit books and authors are just so much fun!) Naturally, I gave a quick and excited, “Definitely!” to Tracie's email. From then on we’ve had the pleasure of chatting with one another online and, today, I get to welcome her to my Blog!

Thanks for dropping by, Tracie!

So, who is Tracie Banister? What’s in her chick lit library? Read on, my friends!

Meet the Author: Q&A with Tracie Banister

Author Photo - Tracie Banister

Author Name:  Tracie Banister

Most Recent Book Title:In Need of Therapy

Recent Book Genre:  Chick Lit

A Bit About the Author:

Like my favorite fictional heroine, Scarlett O'Hara, I reside on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia (not on a plantation, unfortunately.)  I worked as a personal assistant to an entrepreneur for many years and when that job ended, I decided to follow my bliss and dedicate myself to writing full-time.  I released my first novel, the racy, Hollywood-set Blame It on the Fame, in January, 2012, and I am following it up with another fun Chick Lit, In Need of Therapy.

You’ve wanted to write books since…and because…

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write.  My work was first seen on the stage of my elementary school, where my 4th grade class performed an original holiday play that I scripted (Like all good divas-in-the-making, I, also, starred in and tried to direct the production.)  By the time I reached junior high, I was writing under the pen name Blair Banister (I’ve always had a thing for alliteration) and spent my nights pounding out stories on my typewriter (Yes, kids, that’s what us old folks used before there were computers) that I would then put into envelopes and stuff into my friends’ lockers the next morning.  In my spare time, I practiced scribbling my autograph so that I’d be ready to sign all of those bestselling books I was going to write when I grew up.

What’s a writing session like for you?

I do all of my writing at the desktop computer in my office (I loathe laptops!)  I'm a morning person, so I get my best work done before lunch.  For me, it's very important to get up from my desk every couple of hours and do some sort of physical activity to keep the blood and creative juices flowing.  Marathon writing sessions just don't work for me.  I stop writing around 5:00 every day and I never write in the evenings because I'm pretty much brain dead after dinner.  This is going to sound crazy, but I get my very best book ideas when I'm in the shower.  Just this morning, I was in the shower when a scene between two characters in my next novel popped unbidden into my head.  It was so strange because it played out in my head as though I was watching a movie.  I could picture the setting perfectly and feel the characters' emotions as if I was experiencing them myself!  I was so swept away by the scene that I immediately jumped out of the shower and ran to my office, dripping wet in a towel, to write down all of my thoughts and bits of dialogue I could remember.

What inspired you to write your recent book, In Need of Therapy?

It was my mother who suggested that I write a humorous book about a psychologist.  I loved the idea because I took some psychology classes in school and had even considered becoming a therapist myself (I decided against that when I realized I liked telling people what to do more than I did listening to them. :)  Setting in a novel is always very important to me as it informs the characters and provides them with a colorful, interesting backdrop.  So, when I decided to set In Need of Therapy in Miami, it made sense for me to have a Latina heroine and a fun, supporting group of characters that included lifeguards, swimsuit designers, pool cleaners, etc.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned in the self-publishing business?

It surprised and delighted me to learn that there are a lot of extremely helpful authors and bloggers out there who are willing to support a newbie in a variety of ways (promoting work, answering questions, offering advice and suggestions.)  I don't know where I would be if it weren't for all of those kind and generous people who've selflessly assisted me in my self-publishing journey.

Other Books You’ve Written:

My first book, Blame It on the Fame, which I released earlier this year, was a story about the five (fictional) women who were nominated for the Best Actress Oscar.  The writing of that novel was similar in tone (sexy, humorous) to Candace Bushnell, Lauren Weisberger, and Gigi Levangie Grazer.

Any promos or special announcements?

I'm about to finishing up a blog tour that’s been running throughout the month of August. You can check out my Blog and Twitter feed for news about the tour and book giveaways!

Time for some fun and quirky questions…

Is there a particular album or genre of music you like to listen to when you write? 

I have to write in complete silence, so no music unless you want to count the periodic serenades I receive from the Cocker Chorus aka my three dogs. :)

Are you a meet-your-word-count-daily/weekly kind of writer, or do you write when the muse beckons?

I like to write on a schedule as far as sitting down at my computer at the same time every day, but I never set word count goals for myself as that kind of pressure would just make my brain freeze up.

Who is your favorite author of all time?

No contest - Jane Austen.

Do you have a particular novel crush?

Childhood novel crush was Laurie in Little Women.  I will never forgive Jo March for turning down his marriage proposal, the silly twit!  Current novel crush - It's a toss-up between two bad boys.  Reyes Farrow in Darynda Jones' Grave series is both incredibly sexy and scary.  And Jericho Barrons in Karen Marie Moning's Fever series is cut from a similar cloth, also dark, mysterious, deadly, and very, very appealing.

What is your favorite food/meal?

Favorite meal would be filet mignon, baked potato with butter and sour cream, and a Caesar salad.  YUM  My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Thank you so much, Tracie! It was a delight to have you on the Blog today. It’s been so nice getting to know you. Indie chick lit authors all the way!!

So, readers. Want to know more about Tracie and her latest novel, In Need of Therapy, and where you can snatch it up? I’ll let you know that I finished this e-read a week ago and was immediately whisked away to Miami. There are some characters in this latest novel of Tracie’s (I won’t give much away) that made me smile and go, “Oh this person just has to be real! They’re so entertaining!”

In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister

In Need of Therapy, by Tracie Banister

Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be:  warm, compassionate, supportive.  She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart?

While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can't stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.”  Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim.  Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her.  A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes.  And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger.

When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she's left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt.  With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart.

***In Need of Therapy available on Amazon (CLICK HERE)***



Twitter @traciebanister

Happy Reading!